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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Siddhivinayak staff to face unholy music

Mumbai: Siddhivinayak staff to face unholy music

Updated on: 04 October,2023 07:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania , Apoorva Agashe |

This newspaper’s expose into VVIP darshan scam by staffers forces temple trust to consider asking the police for probe into VVIP darshan scam

Mumbai: Siddhivinayak staff to face unholy music

Devotees gathered outside Siddhivinayak temple. File pic

The Siddhivinayak Temple Trust and the Dadar police have launched an investigation into the agents and the temple’s public relations staff involved in running a racket to generate income through the ‘VVIP darshan line’, after it was exposed by mid-day. The temple authority is also reviewing the CCTV footage to understand how this operation is being conducted.

On October 2, mid-day reporters posed as devotees and approached the agents outside the Siddhivinayak temple for ‘VVIP darshan’, by bypassing the regular queues for entry. The agents managed to take all three reporters inside the temple within 2-3 minutes, charging them Rs 3,000 for entry, including a prasad plate.

Veena Patil, spokesperson for Siddhivinayak temple, said, “We have conducted an inquiry into the person caught on mid-day's cameras. We are investigating the incident and taking appropriate action in accordance with the law. We have also held a meeting to discuss the mid-day report and decided on the steps necessary.” According to Patil, temple authorities will also take action against their employees involved in the racket.

Siddhivinayak temple is one of the largest temples in the city. File pic
Siddhivinayak temple is one of the largest temples in the city. File pic

Senior Inspector Rajendra Avhad of Dadar police confirmed that an investigation has been initiated. “Based on mid-day's report, an investigation has been initiated. No arrests have been made so far,” he said. Meanwhile, DCP Zone-V Manoj Patil assured that appropriate action would be taken. “As of now, the temple trust has not approached us. However, action will be taken under the purview of law.”

The Siddhivinayak temple is one of the largest temples in the city, where devotees from across the country visit for Lord Ganesha's darshan. However, there have been incidents of people selling passes for darshan, as well as the creation of fake websites for darshan where many people were cheated. 

On October 2, the mid-day team received information about agents operating outside the temple and targeting people for VVIP darshan on Sankashti Chaturthi, also known as Charan Sparsh. The mid-day team reached the spot, analyzed the situation and recorded these agents conning unsuspecting devotees of money by offering the VVIP darshan.

The mid-day team met the agent named Bhola, who introduced them to Jitu, another agent who also runs a sweet shop outside the temple. Jitu agreed to take all three reporters inside the temple for R3,000, of which R1,900 was for the VVIP darshan and R1,100 for a prasad plate. Jitu allegedly assured the mid-day reporters that they would get Charan Sparsh darshan within 2-3 minutes and was true to his word.

A source informed mid-day that during Tuesdays, Sankashti, Diwali and Ganpati festivals, as well as other festive occasions, these agents are active outside the temple and take advantage of the long queues to approach devotees and offer them VVIP darshan. It is believed that these agents cannot provide VVIP darshan without the involvement of insiders from the temple.

Rs 3,000
Amount mid-day team was charged for VVIP darshan

Time spent to enter temple after paying

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